Lena Blackburne

Lena Blackburne autograph
Birthdate 10/23/1886
Death Date 2/29/1968
Debut Year 1910
Year of Induction
Teams Braves, Phillies, Reds, White Sox
Positions Manager, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base

Today every professional baseball team in America today uses Blackburne’s Rubbing Mud to rub down baseballs before they’re game-ready.

In the collection:


Russell "Lena" Blackburne signature

After a middling career as an infielder from 1910-1929, Lena Blackburne continued a life in baseball as a coach, manager and scout. Despite a lifetime in the game, Blackburne’s most lasting contribution to baseball is mud. From baseball’s inception until the mid-1930s, teams used all kin
T-206 card of Lena Blackburne

T-206 card of Lena Blackburne

With every professional baseball league and team in America using Lena Blackburne rubbing mud, it’s easy to forget that the man himself was a Major League Baseball player. Blackburne spent 21 years playing professional baseball, eight in the big leagues. The card shown above is a T-206 card of
Reverse of Lena Blackburne's T-206 card

Reverse of Lena Blackburne's T-206 card

The reverse of Lena Blackburne’s T-206 card is shown above. Produced by The American Tobacco Company, the T-206 series cards were issued from 1909 through 1911 in cigarette and tobacco packs through 16 brands owned by the parent company. Blackburne spent eight seasons in the big leagues, six w

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954